Hasan's victims: Uncle Sam's, too
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
The Obama administration's reprehensible refusal to label clear acts of terrorism as just that — terrorism — is victimizing Americans already victimized by just such an act committed on U.S. soil.
Various media outlets report that because the Army categorized the 2009 shooting rampage that left 13 dead and 32 injured at Fort Hood in Texas as “workplace violence,” survivors can't get combat pay, as much as $800 more in monthly disability pay, Purple Heart retirement or other benefits that soldiers wounded on battlefields routinely receive.
Meanwhile, Maj. Nidal Hasan has continued to collect his Army paycheck under Army rules that say soldiers suspected of crimes get paid until convicted. Undoubtedly the shooter who shouted “God is great” in Arabic will be convicted.
Had Mr. Hasan been a civilian employee, the Army could have suspended his pay a week after the massacre. Instead, he's expected to collect more than $290,000 by the July 1 start of opening statements in his trial.
Victims are struggling to make ends meet. They shouldn't have to. The Army must change its label for the massacre — which certainly made Fort Hood a battlefield — so these survivors can get all benefits they deserve.
The Obama administration, which coddles the terrorist that Hasan plainly is while stiffing his victims, must get its repugnantly out-of-order priorities straight — posthaste.
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